"Master of Illusion" by NobodyAtAll

Note: read “Keeping Up With The Joneses” and “Things In The Light Are Not The Same In The Dark” first.

Hey, it’s Cal!

So, it’s been a few weeks since the Three-Way War between the ChaotiX, the Champions of Wizardry, and the Ianos Clan.

The five nephilim have all settled in as ChaotiX members, save Audrey, who, while always happy to help us when needed, is currently spending time catching up with her family.

She’s been gone a long time, so there’s a lot to cover. We’re okay with this. Samuel and Gabriel are also always happy to help us, but they’re not full-blown ChaotiX either.

Future Marley will be partnered with Future Quin, and, because Future Marley is still an Omega Class, on top of being a nephilim, he’ll be assembling with the rest of the Omega Squad when needed.

Yikes. I think Future Marley might be one of the strongest members of the team. I’m training harder than ever to be the strongest, because I’ve only said I’m the strongest man alive a million times. I’ve got a reputation to uphold now. If I wanna be the best, I’ve gotta be the best.

Teach has gone back to Ioka Village, and everyone’s very happy to have him back. Their new wise man had to admit that Teach is wiser than him.

Klaus has moved onto the Oldman farm. He doesn’t really need a place to eat or sleep anymore, but he can still do those things, and he likes doing them.

All five nephilim enjoy Victor’s cooking, too. I think, if he doesn’t get into Heaven, they’ll stage another Rebellion.

And Cyrus, to Glenn’s eternal delight, has joined the Monster Party, so those two are working together again. And the Monster Party has two other new additions. Rather unusual ones, even by the Monster Party’s standards.


After my encounter with a second group of draaks, we hooked them up with human clone bodies, in exchange for them not hurting any more fluffies. It was our way of making up for slaughtering the group we found under the Fallen Angel. We should have tried to reason with them first.

The two who joined us are Zorn, the draak we captured, and we treated him humanely while he was in our custody, and Socrates, the ringleader of that group, who decided that he liked the name Marley sarcastically called him.

Naturally, we gave those draaks a say in what their bodies would look like.

They both went for male bodies. I dunno if that’s what draaks prefer, but most of the draaks we’ve supplied with clone bodies went with male ones.

I feel sorry for anyone who decides to be a creep with the draaks in female bodies.

Socrates went for a tall, older bearded gentleman’s body, looking much like his namesake. Zorn went for a teenage boy’s body, with long black hair. He kind of looks like a young James Oldman, but so far, Zorn’s been a lot nicer than James ever was. He forgave us for capturing him, because we treated him nicely while he was in our custody. He said draaks aren’t used to being treated nicely by humans, which is one reason they usually try to avoid us, so our attempts to atone for killing the other group means a lot to them.

Victor knows a guy who deals with draaks a lot. I can’t remember the name right now, but he wears a hood too, with red goggles. They’ve fought once, and it ended in a draw. Now they’re drinking buddies. Victor’s made a lot of friends that way.

We’re hoping Socrates and Zorn will behave. We’ve been introducing our new draak associates to some of the pleasures a human body can bring, like Victor’s excellent cooking. We’re hoping humanity will rub off on them. That they take to the good parts of being human, not the bad parts.

Deston once told me that putting a mind in a different body can influence that mind. Turn someone into a fluffy, they’ll start thinking about sketties an huggies. Those who have shapeshifting as an innate ability, like Paul, Jake, Greebo, and Chaos, don’t suffer from this problem.

Jake’s the guy who trained Paul when his shapeshifting became apparent. Jake doesn’t really get involved in our affairs, like Olaf up until recently, because Jake is usually gathering information for us abroad.

You have perhaps heard the phrase “to be a fly on the wall”? Jake takes it literally, and he’s smart enough to stay away from bug zappers.

My point is, I’m curious about whether those human bodies will end up affecting the draaks mentally. If it’ll make them more human.

Deston also told me that a draak who spends more than a century in a body becomes that being. So maybe it will.

He had a book on draaks in his library. I asked him about it when the group of draaks under the Fallen Angel was discovered, and he didn’t find it until after my encounter with the second group of draaks. The Sanctum’s library is big, and the Dewey Decimal System is useless in there.

He’s working on a way to make finding the book he needs easier and faster.

Lavender and Magnum are now also full-time ChaotiX members. Rose has had her foals, so Lavender’s got one more thing to fight for.

It’s a shame Jack didn’t finish that fluffy-sized tendril harness before the Three-Way War, but I can’t wait to see Tom in action.

Lavender’s also very happy to have Chris back, even though he’s not her Chris.

Nice Chris and his Amy are training hard to become demon hunters. They really want a piece of the demon me who killed their families.

I think they want two pieces, actually.

So we’re dealing with that, too. The Nerd Squad, having already dabbled in multiversal traversal technology when that damn goblin showed up, is now working on a way to find the demonic version of me.

I hope it doesn’t take as long as finding Legion did.

Because we already have an Amy on the team, and no, they aren’t counterparts, it’s not an uncommon name, we’re calling Chris’ Amy Amy B.

The B stands for “blonde”.

Right now, me and Marley are in a training room with a new member, wearing a generic grey battle suit, and his rasta fluffy.

“Alright, Kyle. Welcome to Dr. Pierre Faucheuse’s School for Gifted Individuals.”

Kyle brushes his messy hair out of his face, shorter, wavier and lighter than mine, and smiles.

“I’m glad to be here, dude. Hey, can I smoke here?”

Marley nods.

“Smoke dem if yu gut dem, Kywe.”

So Kyle pulls out one of Dave’s monster blunts, rolled with Pierre’s monster kush, and a lighter.



“Oh damn, the lighter’s broken–”


At a snap of my fingers, the blunt lights itself, and he takes a puff.

“Thanks, dude.”

He passes it to me, and I take a puff, just as Kyle’s new tutor enters the training room.

Mon Dieu, I’m going to have to keep my distance.”

Deston, clad in his purple robe, walks up to us, but not so close that the smoke gets in his face.

I kneel down to give Marley a puff.

“Fanks, daddeh.”

“No problem.”

I get back up, turning to Kyle, passing the blunt back to him.

“Kyle, what you can do is something that a lot of mages can do, but they need to train to do it. So Des here, who has more experience with you in this, will be training you, and he’ll also be teaching you another, more mundane skill. You’ll see why. For now, I want you to show Des what you can do.”

After Kyle kneels down to give Cheech a puff, he gets back up and passes the blunt back to me.

He cracks his knuckles.


And then he points at an empty space.

Another me appears.

But the other me is transparent, and a bit blurry, like a wax statue that was left in the warm for just a bit too long.

The transparent me waves, smiles, and speaks in a tinny voice.

“Call me Cal! Everyone does!”

I can’t help but laugh.

Kyle points at the transparent me again, and it disappears.

He turns to Deston.

“Soooo… whaddya think, Doctor D?”

Deston seems impressed.

“Not a bad illusion for an amateur, Kyle.”

I grin at Kyle.

“Yeah, you should see Des’ illusions, they’re so life-like. They aren’t all transparent and blurry like yours.”

Deston chuckles.

“We’ll be working on that. I’ll also be teaching you about art, Kyle. Better artists make for better illusionists. Watch. Veda.

Deston demonstrates by creating another illusion of me, that looks and sounds exactly like me.

“See, Kyle? But don’t worry! You’ll get the hang of it, dude!”

Deston nailed it. I was about to say that.

The illusion me vanishes.

Kyle shrugs, despite being as impressed as Deston was.

“Yeah, there’s a lot of room for improvement. But I’m not bad at art, y’know. I draw my own comic book, people on campus seemed to like it.”

I pass the blunt back to Kyle. I took a few puffs while he was demonstrating his new illusion power.

“Yeah? Well, Des here is bloody amazing at art. Some of the paintings in the Sanctum are his. There’s always a bigger fish, Kyle.”

“Hey, I knew that, dude. I know just how big the pond is. And that there are other ponds. Speaking of, any luck finding that demonic Calvin yet?”

I shake my head.

“Not yet, but the Nerd Squad is working on it.”

Meanwhile, in the Citadel of Calvins, CQK-9891 and CQK-666, the very demonic Calvin who Kyle just mentioned, examine one of their last minute hires.

“Hmm… he’s not exactly a Calvin, is he? What do you think, Demon Me?”

CQK-666 shrugs.

"He’s Calvin enough. And HE gets it, Boss. I’m gonna go see what my Marley’s up to."

“Aight. It’s not long now, Demon Me. We’ll be making our move soon.”

As CQK-666 wanders off, CQK-9891 looks up at the new arrival, smiling happily.

“I think you’ll do just fine. We needed a green thumb around here. We stole some weed called Pineapple Express from one universe, it’s some dank fucking shit. You’ll love it here. We can get anything we want, from any timeline, any universe…”

CQK-9891’s smile becomes a malicious grin.

“…any headcanon. Nobody’s safe from us, wherever they are. All of reality is our playground now. And I hope you have fun, big guy.”

The new recruit looks down at CQK-9891, replying in a voice that sounds like Calvin’s, but deeper and slimier.

"Oh, I WILL, Boss."


i love metafiction, this should be good

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I love taking Cal’s tendency to break the fourth wall, and turning it on its head like this. I love creating these moments that make the reader feel a little paranoid.

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Jake the animorph? Jake the dog?

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It’s a reference to Jake the dog, yes.

If it wasn’t obvious now, it’ll be obvious when his appearance is described in the next Saga.

Well now I feel clever~

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I love seeing how many of the references people get.

And I’ve been trying to do some more obscure ones, too. You’ll see one of those soon.